Letters, Nov. 3

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    Oak Knoll is an asset

    I’m flattered Susan Wilson referenced data from my 2006 Southern Oregon University master in management capstone study about Oak Knoll Golf Course in her Oct. 16 letter to the Daily Tidings, but I vigorously disagree with her suggestion that operating the nine-hole municipal golf course is “poor fiscal stewardship” and is a waste of taxpayer resources.

    In fact, Ashlanders have 223,331 reasons to disagree (golf course revenue last fiscal year).

    If the Ashland Parks and Recreation Department discontinued the golf operation, revenue from a major recreation asset would go away, but the expense of maintaining the 74-acre park and its structures would remain the city’s responsibility. How many community parks in America recover 44 percent of overhead costs? Answer: hardly any, and we’d be smart to do everything feasible to retain and enhance this revenue stream, which was the purpose of my 2006 study.

    Oak Knoll is more than a golf course, it’s a large park that complements the department’s mission to be a multi-generational recreation program provider enhancing Ashland’s quality of life and improving community health — impactful civic investments.

    What is incredibly ironic about Susan Wilson’s contention is that she is one of the folks responsible for the loss of $24,581 in hard-earned Ashland taxpayer resources last March — the amount the city of Ashland paid for the Parks and Recreation commissioner recall election when a general election, at no cost to the city, was only a few weeks away.

    Rich Rosenthal

    Ashland city councilor

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